It’s Friday, which means two things: giving this week the finger, and new music! Tune in every Friday for The Pit’s round-up of new releases, from singalong hard rock to pus-drenched underground death metal. Keep those ears bleeding!
Carnation, Where Death Lies (Season of Mist)
For fans of: Morbid Angel, LIK, Revolting
Standout track: “Sepulcher of Alteration”
Belgium’s Carnation are a reminder that death metal can be this good while remaining traditional as fuck. With 201u’s Chapel of Abhorrence, the band broke through to broader audiences via an infectious sound, but on Where Death Lies they pour a layer of steel over their armor, introducing noisier blastbeats, icier solos, and vocals spewed out of the deepest depths of Hades. The result is the kind of album that you listen to most of with your head down and your claw up.
Napalm Death, Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism (Century Media)
For fans of: Nile, Full of Hell, Scarlet
Standout track: “That Curse of Being in Thrall”
Everyone imagines a Napalm Death record will just be like a ride inside a dryer with a bucket full of wrenches, but Throes… definitely takes things in a more atmospheric direction. The fast tracks have a lot of minor-chord creepiness, while slower numbers like the punishing “A Bellyful of Salt and Spleen” actively reimagine what the band can be. This one’ll be an unexpected album for those looking to hear Scum over and over, but for traditional metal fans, this is gold.
Fit For A King, The Path (Solid State)
For fans of: Machine Head, Fit For An Autopsy, Devin Townsend Project
Standout track: ”Stockholm”
Man, Fit For A King are really looking to nest up in the spot that Trivium once held in metal’s heart. On The Path, the Texas-born band play a rowdy brand of metalcore that’s loaded with soaring choruses and jarring blasts of electronic noise. While that expertly-crafted middle ground might alienate fans who like it either blazing hot or ice cold, it’s sure to bring in all of those seeking something a little more nuanced than your average brawl. Extreme metal for the radio, if you can imagine such a thing.
Plague Years, Circle of Darkness (eOne)
For fans of: Ringworm, Creeping Death, Xibalba
Standout track: “Evil One”
Of all the trends that have emerged in extreme music in recent years, the merging of beatdown hardcore and slamming death metal is one of the more entertaining, and Plague Years are this style to a T. On Circle of Darkness, this Michigan quartet merge the former genre’s brolic aggression with the latter’s oozing lava, forming a heavier-than-most bludgeon with which they smash the ears of all who dare to listen. There’s no gore here, nor is there the urban gangster routine of some classic hardcore, but there’s plenty of the working parts that made us love both those kinds of music as kids.
- Finntroll, Vredesvavd (Century Media)
- Heathen, Empire of the Blind (Nuclear Blast)
- Raven, Metal City (Steamhammer)
- Vatican Shadow, Persian Pillars of the Gasoline Era (20 Buck Spin)
Words by Chris Krovatin